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Shop Class as Soulcraft

Shop Class as Soulcraft is an important book. It has flaws—significant flaws—but Matthew Crawford’s overall themes deserve wide attention. Shop Class as Soulcraft concerns itself with the dignity of manual labor. It makes a case for the importance of work that repairs and maintains our world, from plumbing to car repair. It defends the kind […]

Weekly Expenditure Adventure: Week 7

Okay, now that I’m back to regularly tracking my expenses, let’s see how I did: Saturday $50.57 Gas and tchotchkes at the Renaissance Festival Sunday $0.00 Monday $0.00 Tuesday $0.00 Wednesday $9.63 Dinner Thursday $10.15 Lunch Friday $124.69 Groceries, Halloween party ingredients, lunch Total $184.88 Not only are these fairly minimal expenses (and mostly due […]

Social Inertia

Time for a rant. I was struck recently by the number of pundits who confidently attempt to predict the future. This is often in small ways: How Amazon’s Kindle Will Kill the Paperback or Why Company X is Doomed. Most of us are savvy enough to cast a suspicious eye at big claims about the […]

Giant Armors, Ikimasu!

About six months ago, I stepped away from my novel series, Giant Armors. I couldn’t see a way forwards, and worried that I was pushing forward on a stale idea. These things can die. I spent the past six months concentrating on other things. I knew that I needed time for my brain to breathe, to work on different problems, so it could approach Giant Armors again with a fresh perspective. I looked back at the series […]

Gingerbread Hot Cocoa Mix

My Mom still fills a Christmas stocking for me every year. It’s the same stocking I’ve had since I was little, one that she knitted for me herself (and it’s the biggest one, of course). Every years, she fills it with candy, bags of tea, and goofy little things. Last year, one of the things […]

The Maryland Renaisssance Festival

I spent yesterday afternoon at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. It was an overcast day, which is never ideal for photos, but here they are: The big excitement of the day: I had my first deep-fried Snickers bar. Sure enough, it was delicious: a melted chocolate bar surrounded by a donut. Quite a few more photos […]

How to make bread of any size, in any form

I’ve blogged before about my nascent bakery business and the process for putting ingredients in a bread machine. Now I’m going to share the secret formula for bread. Really. It’s 3 parts water, 5 parts flour, a little yeast, and a little salt. That’s it. What about the punching down and the rising and all that? That’s easy: 2–400. Mix it, let it rise, then “punch it down” (push it into […]

Weekly Expenditure Adventure: Week 6-ish

Yeah, I haven’t been keeping up with this for a couple of weeks, so it’s more like week 10. But it’s week 6 of keeping track. Whatever! Saturday $44.53 Gas and shipping a DVD Sunday $16.08 Lunch Monday $50.80 Pumpkins, mums, and veggies Tuesday $7.24 Lunch Wednesday $0.00 Thursday $9.79 Lunch and a brownie Friday […]

Expenditures, Expenditures

You may have noticed the lack of Weekly Expenditure Adventure posts on here. Why? I fell off the wagon. As easy as it is to track one’s expenditures, it’s just as easy to forget. And then you face days’ worth of half-remembered purchases, and going to the mental effort of remembering just feels like too […]

Cooking and The Flavor Bible

Cooking is hard. Well, no, the actual act of cooking isn’t particularly hard; it’s the knowledge. How long does an omelette need in the pan? How hot should the pan be, and within what range? All that stuff. Plus, once one moves on in one’s cooking life from rotely following recipes, one is confronted by […]

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